NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

Excerpt

Financial and economic constraints are redefining NATO’s ability to provide security in the coming decade. While the fact that the European members of NATO face pressures to make serious defense cuts is widely recognized in Alliance capitals, the discussion to date has tended to underestimate the magnitude of the cuts on NATO capabilities and their long-term strategic impact. NATO faces more than a simple, short-term budget squeeze: It is confronted with a secular trend that will have a serious impact on NATO Europe’s ability to deploy and sustain military power.

At the same time, the United States is facing strong fiscal pressures on defense spending while giving greater priority to the IndoPacific region and trimming its military posture in Europe. The totality of these measures will have a major short- and medium-term impact on the overall military health of the Atlantic alliance.

This study analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven European members of NATO: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland. These seven countries were selected because they have the highest proportion of deployable and sustainable forces. Together they represent somewhat more than 80 percent of NATO Europe’s defense spending.

This research was sponsored by the office of NATO and European Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands . . .

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